The National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) credentials general respiratory therapists and therapists specializing in pulmonary function testing, neonatal/pediatrics, sleep, and adult critical care. A sponsor of the NBRC requested a new specialty certification program. The request came with the intent to serve a candidate population from multidisciplinary backgrounds (for example, nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant) in addition to respiratory therapists. This article describes the policy that governed the response along with details about two evaluations, a viability study and a personnel study. The research question for the viability study was as follows: Is a new pulmonary disease educator certification program desirable and feasible? After an affirmative outcome from the viability study indicated interest in a new certification program, the research question for the personnel study was as follows: Were there enough potential candidates from multidisciplinary backgrounds to support a new program that would certify pulmonary disease educators? Access to ten databases was secured to solicit personnel from multidisciplinary backgrounds, netting approximately 240,000 potential survey respondents. After pilot testing, one survey was distributed to those with managerial/supervisory relationships with pulmonary disease educators; 407 such personnel responded. A second survey was simultaneously distributed to those directly working in the pulmonary disease educator role; 3,095 responded. Results from both surveys, including the limitations, were summarized for the NBRC, who decided against continued development of the program. A pulmonary disease educator certification program was subjectively desirable and feasible; however, there did not objectively seem to be enough potential candidates to support the program.
Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Inc.